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Mac Crehin's Castle
The NameApart from its enclosing earthwork there are no visible remains of this castle, which was located on the lower South slopes of Bentee Mountain. It is associated with the McCrohan branch of the O’Sullivan Mores (Smith 1756, 107), and is referred to as ‘Letirmiccrohan’ in RIA MS 24 K 43.

The Iveragh Peninsula An Archaeological Survey of South Kerry (Suirbhé Seandálaíochta Uíbh Ráthaigh) By Ann O’Sullivan and John Sheehan
Cork University Press 1996
© South West Kerry Archaeological Survey
ISBN 0 902561 84 7
Pages 380 & 381

1114 Letter                                                                                               Leitir        

OS 79:12:4 (714 169) 68 OD 300-400 V474770

Mac Crehin’s Castle: Apart from its enclosing earthwork there are no visible remains of this castle, which was located on the lower South slopes of Bentee Mountain. It is associated with the McCrohan branch of the O’Sullivan Mores (Smith 1756, 107), and is referred to as ‘Letirmiccrohan’ in RIA MS 24 K 43. Occupied by one Cnogher MacCroghon on 1656 (King, 1931 223), it was confiscated and granted to Alexander Eagers in 1667 (King 1909, 169). No trace of the castle survived in 1841 (OSL), and Delap recorded that it had been demolished to build adjoining farm houses (1910b, 227).

The surviving remains at the site of the castle consist of a low rectangular platform, 30m North-South x 32m East-West internally, which is defined by a bank and 2.25m in width. Here the fosse, which is U-shaped in profile, averages 7m in width and 1.35m in depth. At East and West the bank and fosse are less well-defined. A low causeway, 5.5m wide, interrupts the fosse midway along the slightly curving East side and may indicate the location of the entrance to the earthwork. A deeply channelled stream skirts this feature at East, and may have been bridged at this point. Slight traces of a channel which may have served to direct water from the stream into the fosse are visible extending from the latter’s midpoint at North.

The interior of the site is uneven and is raised slightly above external ground level. A slight hollow of sub-rectangular shape, 18m North-South x 16m East-West, occurs in the North West quadrant and is enclosed by a low back, 3m in average width. IN the South East quadrant is a large, sod-covered sub-rectangular mound, 13.3m East – West x 12.7m North – South, which may represent the location of the castle. Raised 1.4m above internal ground level, it’s flat upper surface measures 8m East – West x 7.2.m North South.

Bibliography

 

Abbreviations

OS       Ordnance Survey
OD
KAM   Kerry Archaeological Magazine
RIA      Royal Irish Academy

 

DELAP, W.J. (1910b) ‘Mc Crohan’s Castle, Letter’ Kerry Archaeological Magazine 4, 227.

KING, J. (1909) King’s History of Kerry, Part II, Tralee.

KING, J. (1931) County Kerry Past and Present, 3rd edition, Dublin.

OSL (1841) Ordnance Survey Letters, MSS at Ordnance Survey Office, Dublin.

RIA MS 24 K 43 in Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

SMITH, C. (1756) The Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry, Dublin, reprinted in 1969 by the Mercier Press, Cork.

 

Glossary

 

FOSSE – a ditch or moat, either dry or wet, especially dug as a fortification.



Note: Article contributed by John McCrohan of Renard. Registered users can see a picture of the site of Leitir Castle in the Photo Gallery.
Posted on Thursday, 02 January 2003 @ 07:06:04 EST by admin

 
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